The wraps are off the eagerly anticipated Toyota HiLux Tonka concept and it’s a ripper.
Built by Toyota Australia, the Tonka concept is based on the manufacturer’s top selling, top-spec SR5 HiLux and is intended as a tribute to the all-conquering HiLux range, as well as a celebration of Tonka’s 70th and Toyota’s 80th birthdays.
“We have taken Tonka out of the sand pit and reinvented HiLux from top to bottom and from nose to tail,” said Nicolas Hogios, Toyota’s product design chief.
The striking black and yellow graphics (the yellow is called ‘Sun Fusion’), wide stance and serious suspension lift are going to get tongues wagging, and we predict an aftermarket industry scramble to reverse engineer those steel front and rear bumpers!
As you’ve guessed by now, creating this concept has involved some serious modifications to the base SR5 HiLux, modifications that haven’t been restricted by Australian Design Rules or vehicle modification legislation.
The ride height has been increased by 150mm over standard (that’s a 6″ lift), thanks in part to those 35″ tyres but also rear portal axles, King springs, adjustable remote reservoir shocks and what looks like a diff-drop in the front.
The standard SR5’s rear drum brakes have been replaced with discs and the park brake swapped out for an electronic item, which as an aside would be next to useless offroad.
Wheels are 17″ alloys and that bonnet, complete with power bulge, is wrapped in genuine carbon fibre.
Underbody protection consists of 6mm thick alloy bash plates, while tube steel rocksliders protect the sills. The front and rear bars are custom plate steel units that match the lines of the pumped out HiLux perfectly and it should be noted that the front bar is airbag compatible.
The Tonka Concepts wheel track has been significantly increased, and a set of super wide wheel arch flares have been employed to cover – almost – the 35″ rubber.
The tub features a Baja style spare tyre frame, that includes room for jerry cans, a fire extinguisher, axe, high-lift jack and a couple of uniquely shaped space case style storage boxes.
Out the back is a carbon-fibre wrapped tailgate, featuring an integrated spoiler, air vents and a funky strap that replaces the regular centre handle.
All of that good gear has resulted in a significant 325kg weight gain over the standard SR5 HiLux.
About the only element of the Tonka Concept that hasn’t been turned on its head is the drivetrain, which remains the standard 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel 130kW/450Nm engine found in the HiLux SR and SR5.
If you’re a HiLux fan then you’ll be dribbling on your jumper right about now, and we don’t blame you. Unfortunately, the HiLux Tonka concept is just that, a concept. You’ll be able to see it in the flesh as it tours the various 4WD shows around the country over the next little while and if your lucky, some enterprising aftermarket suppliers will take up the challenge of manufacturing Tonka concept style ‘bits’.
HiLux Tonka concept v HiLux SR5
|HiLux Tonka Concept
|Final drive ratio
|17 x 8.5-inch Method NV alloy
|35 x 12.5-inch Toyo Open Country M/T-R